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Council considers call to keep cupola

The cupola atop John Robson elementary may be saved when the school is demolished this summer. Initial plans call for it to be restored and included in the site plan for the new Fraser River Middle School - Grant Granger/NewsLeader
The cupola atop John Robson elementary may be saved when the school is demolished this summer. Initial plans call for it to be restored and included in the site plan for the new Fraser River Middle School
— image credit: Grant Granger/NewsLeader

Venerable John Robson elementary's days are numbered but one piece may survive the wrecking ball.

Robson will be demolished this summer to make way for a new middle school. The New Westminster heritage commission suggested the cupola should be saved. It is an "architecturally significant element" of the school said commission chair Coun. Jaimie McEvoy.

The school district likes the idea but the project's budget doesn't have enough money to save and restore it. The cupola is the small dome with slats that sits regally atop the 86-year-old structure.

So the city has decided to seek funding for the estimated $25,000 it would take to save the cupola. A previous landscape design from project builders Yellowbridge Design Build indicated it could be incorporated into the site to acknowledge the school's past.

"It wasn't something that was ever insisted upon. We just asked the school district if it was something they'd do about it and they said yes," said McEvoy. "It's a great way to make use of it.

"It builds that bridge that people in New Westminster like to see in history … It has the potential to be very beautiful."

City planning analyst Lynn Roxburgh said New Westminster will seek out funding options to keep the cupola.

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